Cystic Fibrosis

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Cannabis and CBD for Cystic Fibrosis  

Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disorder that causes serious damage to the body’s lungs, digestive system, and other organs.

The cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices are affected by cyst fibrosis. Such fluids that are secreted are usually thin and slippery. But a defective gene causes the secretions to become sticky and thick in people with cystic fibrosis. The secretions plug up tubes, ducts, and channels, particularly in the lungs and pancreas, instead of acting as a lubricant. Although cystic fibrosis needs regular medication, those who have a disease usually have a better quality of life than those who have cystic fibrosis in previous decades and can attend school and work. Improved screening and treatment mean that people with cystic fibrosis today live on average between the mid and late 30s and some are in the 1940s and the 1950s. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease threatening life that often significantly reduces life span. It affects around 30,000 individuals in the United States with 1,000 new cases annually. While cystic fibroids can not be cured, the treatment of the symptoms can provide patients with this disorder with relief and improved quality of life. Research into the treatment of cystic fibrosis with medicinal marijuana is limited, but the natural method for treating the effects of the disease is promising.

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that causes recurrent infections of the lungs and restricts breathing capacity over time.

If the protein does not work properly, chloride can not be transferred to the cell surface. The mucus in different organs becomes dense and sticky without the chloride to draw water to the cell surface.

The mucus covers the airways in the lungs and contains germs, such as bacteria, resulting in infections, inflammation, respiratory failure, and other complications. Minimizing germ communication is, therefore, a top concern for people with cystic fibrosis.

The accumulation of mucus in the pancreas prevents the release of digestive enzymes that help the body absorb food and essential nutrients, contributing to malnutrition and poor development. The thick mucus in the liver will obstruct the bile duct, causing disease of the liver. Cystic fibrosis can affect the ability of men to have kids.

Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

According to Medical News, people with Cystic Fibrosis can have a variety of symptoms, including: 

  • salty-tasting skin
  • shortness of breath
  • persistent coughing
  • greasy, bulky stools
  • wheezing
  • nasal polyps, or small, fleshy growths found in the nose
  • poor weight gain in spite of excessive appetite

How Cannabis Can Help Relieve the Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

Medical cannabis for cystic fibrosis can’t cure the disease, but in combination with other therapies and drugs, it can provide some relief from the symptoms.

Although it may not completely eliminate the symptoms, medical cannabis can help to reduce the severity of the symptoms.

It is known that certain forms of medical marijuana increase appetite and decrease nausea. This can lead to weight loss and appetite loss. Nevertheless, absorption of nutrients is unlikely to help, while consuming more increases the likelihood that a patient with cystic fibrosis may gain nutrients from food.

Sometimes, aches and pains are a side effect of the disease, like abdominal and chest pain, where the disease has the greatest impact. Many patients often suffer from pain caused by kidney stones or gallstones. Marijuana has an effect that relieves pain, which can alleviate the discomfort.

Inflammation, particularly in the lungs, is another consequence of cystic fibrosis in the body. Cannabinoids affect the body with an anti-inflammatory effect. There are also cannabinoid receptors in the lungs, so cannabis may be able to reduce inflammation in the lungs.

Due to the effects of the disease on the digestive system, some patients with cystic fibrosis treat frequent diarrhea. Cannabinoids can help reduce diarrhea, which in turn helps to avoid loss of nutrients. Not only does this benefit make the patient feel more comfortable, but it also helps the body get the food it needs.

In the study Cannabinoids and Cystic Fibrosis: A New Approach to Etiology and Therapy, the doctor named Ester Fride explored the many possibilities of medical marijuana as a cystic fibrosis medicine. In addition to addressing the above-mentioned nature of the medication, she also indicated medical marijuana can improve bronchodilation and act as an anti-inflammatory drug.

Marijuana may improve nausea and vomiting of a patient, which could potentially enhance the appetite of people with cystic fibrosis. The outcome is not necessarily produced by all strains.

There is still much hope for the future of research in this area. Despite the lack of studies in certain areas of cystic fibrosis and medical marijuana, there is sufficient research on medical marijuana for other diseases to justify its use in patients with cystic fibrosis. The median age of survival for people with cystic fibrosis is currently at the beginning of the 40s.  Most people with cystic fibrosis can lead active lives with routine therapies and healthy lifestyles.

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